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As time has passed, Social Media has evolved alongside technology becoming another part of our daily lives. In fact, there are more than 2.3 billion social media users worldwide, with 192 million of them only in North America.

Although at first the main objective of social networks was to help us catch up with friends, post what we thought about anything, share pictures and videos, or just have an entertaining time, nowadays creativity has done its work building new and awesome usages for social media due to the easiness of connecting with people no matter where they are.

Thanks to their success among internet users, companies saw an opportunity on social networks and they have taken advantage of it. Now it is easier for brands to connect with customers and vice versa, making people think about using social media at the moment of making their purchasing decision.

According to a Deloitte report, the percentage of users that use social media during their shopping time has been increasing year after year and it varies according to the product category. The report indicates that baby/toddler products are the main subject on which purchasing decision is influenced by social media with a 56%, followed by home furnishings with 40%, health/wellness 33%, automotive 32%, electronics 31%, apparel 29%, food/beverage 21% and finally entertainment with 18%.

On the other hand, the report also shows that buyers are 29% more likely to make a purchase on the same day when using social media to help them shop before or during a trip to the store. Also, shoppers are four times more likely to spend more when using social media to make their purchasing decision. And finally, consumers who feel like they are influenced by social media are six times more likely to spend significantly more than non social media users.

 

How does Social Media influence Consumer’s Purchasing Decision and Shopping Behavior?

To help you understand better how you can seize the opportunity to get the most out of social media and increase your sales, we are going to give you some useful statistics so you can create the strategy that better fits you and your business.

According to the PwC total retail survey 2016, 45% of global respondents said that reading reviews, comments and feedback influences their shopping behavior, followed closely by receiving promotional offerings with 44%, turning these two into the main influencing factors at the moment of making their purchasing decision.

In addition to this, there are five other aspects which influence the purchasing decision according to this survey. 30% of respondents said that they feel influenced by viewing advertisements, 25% because they want to stay on top current fashion and product trends, 22% use social media to write reviews, comments and feedback, 20% to associate with particular brands or retailers and 16% opt for purchasing products directly through a social media channel.

Moreover, in the US, 40% of people surveyed said that reading reviews, comments and feedback is the main social media influencer when making their purchasing decision, followed by viewing advertisements with 30% and finally writing reviews, comments and feedback with 22%.

 

How to take advantage of it?

The main thing to do is having a presence on social media, of course. Then, you have to build a stronger relationship with your customers. People like brands that care about their clients and their experiences. Communicating directly with consumers will make them feel more special and not just another client, causing their loyalty to increase and get stronger.

Moreover, we all know a happy client is one of the best influencers brands may have. Try to know your customers as much as you can. Always give them detailed information about your company, so when they write reviews or just share information about you and your brand among their friends, they can give more accurate info which will help you get more customers.

Word-of-mouth marketing has always been critical for a brand’s success. There is no advertisement more persuasive than the opinion of someone you trust in. That’s the reason why it’s so important to keep each of your clients satisfied. We don’t want them to spread negative information about our brand.

Although giving information about your company is a good way to raise awareness among social media users, another helpful way to influence your customers on their purchasing decision is sharing information about new releases, offers, events, and whatever you think is interesting for your clients to know. People like to stay updated on any novelties from their favorite brands, so this is a great opportunity to raise people’s attention on the products or services you offer.

Another option to take advantage of social media to influence your customer’s purchasing decision and also to attract new clients, is simply to exploit your creativity. Create new content, use pictures and videos, share flashy publications that grab the attention of all social media users who have access to your sites. Once you catch people’s interest, it is going to be easier for you to win the battle of swaying the purchasing decision inside your customer’s conscience.

It is necessary to take advantage of every opportunity that crosses your path to make your business succeed, and communicating with the consumer is an important part of this. Social media has made this easier than ever. Interaction between brands and customers has helped companies to better understand what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong, thanks to the clients’ comments, reviews and recommendations. This facilitates the selection of their business strategy and makes it more likely to be accurate.

 

One last thing to take into account is that even when social media influences the purchasing decision in all age groups, millennials are the biggest group of people who think social media influences their shopping behavior somehow. Probably the reason behind this is because millennials are the largest demographic group of social media users.

 

Nowadays, there is an infinity of options you can choose to influence consumer behavior and increase sales. Do you think social media is the best strategy to influence your customer’s purchasing decision? If you think there are other strategies that may work better than social media, you can share it with us in a comment. And don’t forget to subscribe.

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